...<the><a>compact car...

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sagar grammar

Senior Member
Namaste,
Dear members.

- The fact that ____ compact car is better than conventional cars has been proved by its sales.
.
1- the
2- a
3- both "the" and "a" are possible
.
I think #2 but I read this sentence with #1 and there was no error, and another book suggest using "a" instead of "the", so I want to be sure of it.
.
Please help me to get this usage clearly..

Thanks in advance. :)
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The fact that a compact car is better than conventional cars has been proved by its sales.
    How many compact cars have been sold? "... a compact car ..... its sales" ?

    The fact that the compact car is better than conventional cars has been proved by its sales.
    "the compact car" - the class of cars that are compact as opposed to being conventional cars.

    Now what do you think?
     

    Shingho

    Member
    Chinese-Mandarin
    To me, I think it should be compact cars, or if you want to make the former singular, you can change the latter (a conventional car) to singular as well. In comparison, you should always make numbers in coherence.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    In comparison, you should always make numbers in coherence.
    I'm sorry, but that is not true. That is a matter of style - a personal choice - not of grammar.

    The pig is more intelligent than other farm animals. The pig is more intelligent than any other farm animal. Pigs are more intelligent than any other farm animal. Pigs are more intelligent than other farm animals.

    The comparison is between the compact car (a single type of car) and all other conventional cars - for example, small family saloons, large family saloons, and luxury executive cars. That makes "the compact car" a normal way of expressing this meaning. The sentence cannot make sense using "a compact car" - "The fact that a compact car is better than a conventional car has been proved by its sales" - a single car cannot have "sales".

    In any case, sagar grammar does not have the option to rewrite the sentence, he has to decide on which article to use.
     
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